Pollution Prevention Planning Assistance Programs

In addition to planning requirements, the 1990 Minnesota Toxic Pollution Prevention Act (TPPA) also features provisions for establishing a pollution prevention assistance program, known as the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP). The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) coordinates a Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Pollution and Waste Prevention, and an Environmental Assistance Grant program. A pollution prevention fees collection program for facilities that are identified as Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporters or as large quantity generators (LQGs) of hazardous waste is jointly administered by the EPCRA Program and the MPCA to help fund these programs.

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

MnTAP implements the technical assistance provisions of the Waste Management Act (WMA) and TPPA. It is a non-regulatory organization that helps businesses prevent pollution, manage waste better and save money. MnTAP is located at the University of Minnesota and has a staff with a solid background in science and engineering, plus many years of industry experience.

MnTAP’s main services include:

  • Site visits which provide better understanding of process to identify strategies and tools for improving efficiency and reducing waste.
  • The student intern program helps companies dive deeply into examining company-specific pollution prevention problems and solutions.
  • Seminars, workshops, and training programs designed to provide pollution prevention information and assistance.

From 1985 to 2009 MnTAP helped companies reduce waste by over 383 million pounds and saved companies over $29 million.
To learn more about how MnTAP can assist in your facility’s pollution prevention and waste reduction efforts, please contact MnTAP at 612-624-1300 or at 800-247-0015.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

The MPCA monitors environmental quality, offers technical and financial assistance, and enforces environmental regulations. Staff members develop statewide policy and support environmental education. To prevent pollution and conserve resources, the MPCA works with many partners including: citizens, communities, businesses, all levels of government, environmental groups, and educators.

The MPCA also administers an Environmental Assistance Grant Program. Businesses and other organizations can apply for grant funds for the purpose of researching, developing, and implementing projects or practices related to pollution prevention and other environmental improvement initiatives.

The MPCA also can provide technical assistance resources such as the Design for the Environment (DfE) toolkit, which provides a systematic method for incorporating environmental attributes into the design of a product.

For more information about the DfE toolkit or the Environmental Assistance Grant program, please contact the MPCA at 651.296.6300 or at 800.657.3864 or visit their Web site. The MPCA works with management and trade associations to identify issues and barriers to implementing pollution prevention.

Pollution Prevention Fees

Pollution Prevention Fees are used to fund the state’s technical assistance and research activities with regards to waste reduction and pollution prevention. As mentioned above, a portion of MnTAP’s funding comes from pollution prevention fees. In addition, these fees also fund the state’s efforts in identifying priority chemicals for pollution prevention initiatives, as well as identifying priority industries for offering technical and financial assistance.
The pollution prevention fees program is administered jointly by EPCRA Program and MPCA. The EPCRA Program collects fees from TRI reporters and MPCA collects fees from large quantity generators (LQGs) of hazardous wastes. The fees are calculated as follows:

LQGs: Flat fee of $500 per facility.

TRI reporters: $150 for each toxic pollutant reported to TRI, plus $500 for facilities reporting less than 25,000 pounds of releases and off-site transfers or a graduated fee of two cents per pounds for facilities that report releases and off-site transfers in excess of 25,000 pounds. There is no maximum fee. (Releases and off-site transfers are determined from the sum of Section 5 and 6 from the TRI Form R reports submitted by a facility.)

Example A-1

A facility submits Form R reports for one chemical, with total releases and transfers of 110,860 pounds.

The fees due are:
$150 for each chemical reported:  $150.00
$0.02 per pound for >25,000 pounds of releases and transfers:  $2,217.20
Total Fees: $2,367.20

Example A-2

A facility submits Form R reports for two chemicals, with total releases and transfers of 20,873 pounds.

The fees due are:
$150 for each chemical reported:  $300.00
$500 for <25,000 pounds of releases and transfers:  $500.00
Total Fees:  $800.00

Example A-3

A facility submits Form R reports for eight chemicals, with total releases and transfers of 960,784 pounds.

The fees due are:
$150 for each chemical reported:  $1,200.00
$0.02 per pound for >25,000 pounds of releases and transfers:  $19,215.68
Total Fees:  $20,415.68